Alumni portfolios

  • "Inertia Rocker," heavy with a very smooth and steady rock.
    "Inertia Rocker," heavy with a very smooth and steady rock.
  • "Sliding Slivers Coffee Table," made with Spalted Maple and Paduak or Qrt. Fig.
    "Sliding Slivers Coffee Table," made with Spalted Maple and Paduak or Qrt. Fig.
  • "Sliding Slivers Coffee Table," made with Walnut and Holly.
    "Sliding Slivers Coffee Table," made with Walnut and Holly.
  • "The Zebra Dresser," Zebrawood with Nickel plated handles and solid Maple drawers.
    "The Zebra Dresser," Zebrawood with Nickel plated handles and solid Maple drawers.
  • "Infinity Table," simple and elegant, featuring a continuous run of walnut and floating planks of Curly Maple.
    "Infinity Table," simple and elegant, featuring a continuous run of walnut and floating planks of Curly Maple.
  • "Bambungalo Media Console," inspired by the concept of texture.
    "Bambungalo Media Console," inspired by the concept of texture.

Aren Irwin

Biography 

I have always enjoyed making things with my hands. There is something very rewarding about taking an idea in my head and seeing it through to a final creation through the manipulation of raw materials. As a boy growing up outside of Philadelphia, I remember my dad going out to mow the lawn, only to find a dismantled lawnmower, and me, sitting in the driveway with his tools and a bunch of oddly familiar wheels and bolts. Little did he know that I was in the middle of creating my latest on-the-fly go-cart invention. Despite my dad's huffing and puffing, I could still see the sense of pride in his eyes. In fact, I often felt a tremendous amount of encouragement and support from both of my parents to develop and express my creative side.

So it is fitting that I went on to study Architecture and Three-Dimensional Design at Washington University in St. Louis. There I was introduced to many of the fundamental design principles that have stuck with me to this day. I was also exposed to a wide variety of types of design, not only architecture, but also engineering, sculpture, theatrical set design, and perhaps most importantly, furniture design. What intrigued me most about furniture was its scale, opportunity for detail, and potential for one to interact with it. Best of all, it was something that I could make with my hands.

For the past fifteen years, furniture has been the focus of my professional career. I have worked for various custom cabinet and furniture companies, designed and built furniture on private commission, and have taught woodworking and furniture design at the high school level. This passion has taken me all over the country—from St. Louis, to Seattle, to New Jersey, and now ... to Albuquerque.

Statement 

People often ask me what style of furniture I make. I struggle to find an answer. Though I am continually looking for inspiration and ideas from past and current styles, each piece I make varies a great deal in its form and in the process used to create it, and rarely ends up resembling any one style. Having a background in Architecture, I draw heavily from architectural forms. In addition, my work often demonstrates a strong sense of geometry and concept. I like to think of my furniture as a type of 3-dimensional metaphor, and hope that it inspires people to interact with it on a more personal level.